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1,467 unclaimed dead buried | Lessons learned from a 63-year-old Cal State student & More Eastside News

A Roundup of Eastside News & Info

A memorial service and burial was held for more more than 1,400 people whose families never claimed their remains. The LAUSD board president, in a last-minute move, withdrew a $125,000 proposal to help a Boyle Heights group. And a 63-year-old construction worker and an octogenarian actor show us that it’s more about attitude than age. Eastsiders, your Thursday News & Notes is here, along with more rain.

More than 1,400 buried in Boyle Heights mass grave

They died in 2015 but no one ever claimed their bodies. On Wednesday, county officials laid to rest the cremated remains of 1,467 people whose bodies were buried earlier this week in a mass grave, MyNewsLA reported.

County officials and interfaith leaders held a service at  Los Angeles County Crematory and Cemetery  for the deceased in a somber annual event.

“Some of these individuals were homeless. Many were poor,” said County Supervisor Janice Hahn, said the L.A. Times. “And tragically, many of them have no loved ones to grieve for them.”

The county has interred unclaimed remains every year since 1896, said a 2016 Daily News report on the end of the year ritual.

The county generally holds  cremated remains for three years before burial to allow family members and loved ones a chance to claim the remains.

LAUSD board president backtracks on financial support for Boyle Heights group

LAUSD Board of Education President Monica Garcia withdrew a  proposal to use $125,000 in district funds to help a Boyle Heights community group she has ties to pay for its new building, Los Angeles Times reported. The last-minute reversal was made as the school leaders have claimed they need to clamp down on expenditures amid tough labor negotiations with the teachers’ union.

InnerCity Struggle is run by community activist Maria Brenes, who is married to Garcia’s former chief of staff, Luis Sanchez. Sanchez also unsuccessfully ran for the school board.

According to the Times, the group seeks to “mobilize students at Eastside high schools to advocate for themselves by pushing for such goals as more rigorous classes and a greater share of district funding for their campuses.”

The group claims their advocacy was in part responsible for Los Angeles Unified School District approving three new Eastside high schools, a new elementary school, and a new adult school in
2004.

The funds amounts to less than two teacher salaries (with benefits) but the massive urban district is struggling financially. A Garcia staff member told the Times that other funding would have to be found.

At 63, Cal State LA student a match for his peers

At 63, Jerry Valencia is hardly the youngest in Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez’ class but he could match his youthful peers in energy and curiosity.

Valencia’s spirit and determination to get a master’s degree despite  hardship struck a chord with Lopez, who follows him to his mobile home and finds a man from humble beginnings.

Can’t keep a good man down

The 82-year-old actor Bruce Dern tweeted this week he’s back at work on Showtime’s new series Black Monday after fracturing a hip during a jog at the Silver Lake Reservoir in October.

“Can’t keep a good man down. Back at work on #Black Monday,he told his followers.

Black Monday is about the infamous stock market crash of October 19, 1987 – aka Black Monday. Dern plays a legendary trader.

Rachel Uranga is a Los Angeles-based writer

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